Seeing as how the movie largely touched on the two cases of Mia’s death and DL-6, I will review just those cases in comparison to the game.
First up, Mia’s death case. This case took up the first half of the movie and was, in my opinion, the weakest. The case featured our hero Phoenix Wright fighting it out with Miles Edgeworth, a well-known prosecutor for his cold heart and illegitimate ways of getting that “guilty” verdict. The suspect on trial is a young girl named Maya Fey, younger sister to Mia Fey. Mia has been investigating the DL-6 incident for years and someone wanted her dead because of it. Turns out that it was Redd White, a reporter on the incident was the one that killed her. He then tried to frame Maya for it by claiming he saw Maya strike her sister with “The Thinker” clock/statue from his hotel window. Edgeworth and Phoenix meet in the courtroom for the first time and with Phoenix still being a rookie and Edgeworth having a few cases under his belt, it was going to prove to be quite difficult for our hero. Needless to say, with all the flying of evidence on projected screens Ironman-status and questioning of witnesses, without so much as a peep from Maya, the court decided that Redd White was guilty of the murder of Mia Fey.
I am not one to nit-pick details for the sake of story and overall flow of the movie. It made no difference to me that Redd White was not a reporter in the game, and was actually a splendifuously flashy man who made a living in blackmail. Although a couple characters were missing, this did not disrupt the flow of the movie. For the most part, the important components were there to create a plotline for the rest of the movie. There was one thing missing though, which could have made the movie better. I just can’t stress enough how important character development and relationships are, so the relationship between Edgeworth and Phoenix could have been…there. This leads me into the review of the other highlighted case: DL-6.
If you remember from the game, DL-6 was the case of Miles Edgeworth’s father’s murder. And that’s just the cliff notes version of it. The case runs deeper than poor Phoenix could have imagined and he dug up some pretty gnarly stuff in order to solve the case and prove his client (in this case, Miles) innocent. After secrets were uncovered, painful memories were drudged up, and a silly dealing with birds, Miles Edgeworth is a free man, in law and conscience.
This specific case did not have Edgeworth and Phoenix pitted against each other, but between Phoenix and Edgeworth’s mentor, Prosecutor Von Karma. Even though Edgeworth and Phoenix did not bout too often, Phoenix got his fair share from Von Karma. This mirrored that of the game, which was a breath of fresh air. Since the tactics that Edgeworth picked up from Von Karma was missing in his bout with Phoenix, there was definitely no shortage of that when it was Von Karma vs. Phoenix. The true feel of a court battle was shown in the final stretch of the movie, although it would have been nice in the earlier case with Edgeworth to build tension between the characters. Sad that some relationship had to be established at the end of the film, but beggars can’t be choosers. The DL-6 case was the heart of the movie and since the overall film was a great one, that would make this case the best rendition of the two cases presented.
It takes a director who really pays attention to detail to make the characters and cases shine through. Check out the review on Director Takashi Miike’s attention to detail on Only Single Player!